Rethink the Rules


The thesis of Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhouse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples is that the institution of marriage is at an inflection point.

Pamela Haag, the author, sifted through extensive academic and government research and performed over fifty interviews of single, married, and divorced people. She determined that marriage today is quite often merely semihappy. Fights and drama are infrequent, yet there's a lonesome, melancholy ache that something is missing.

She argues that the romantic-marriage era is at its close and points to redefinitions currently underway. Rather than ending peaceful but not blissful marriages, people have developed arrangements that better meet their needs. Why throw out the baby with the bathwater?

Marriage aside, here's what energized me about this book: These people are brave enough to rewrite the rules.

Just because "people" and "society" have done something a certain way for a while doesn't mean that you should do it that way. (I promise that no process has been performed a particular way for all time.) As long as you aren't hurting anyone and you're handling the redefinition respectfully with others affected by the change, why not?

Following the rules just because they're the rules is head trash. And that kind of head trash will stunt your growth and happiness.

Maybe this is my personality shining through. Rarely do I agree with rules and authority for their own sakes. If you can make a reasonable case that something needs to be or to happen a certain way, I'm with you. Otherwise, let's rethink it.

Find your own way. Some people will always be jealous that you're confident enough to do things differently. Shrug them off.

What in your life have you rethought? What should you rethink?